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Remembering the way it was

Published February 12. 2011 09:00AM

This winter, with all its snow, ice and frigid temperatures, has been compared with winters out of the past. If I heard it once, I heard it a dozen times - "remember the winters we had when we were kids?"

Truthfully, I think this winter is worse than any when I was a kid. It's probably that I'm older, and shoveling snow is a lot tougher when you're on the south side of 60, rather than in our younger days when we were on the north side of 20.

But it's fun to reminisce. So much fun that I find myself spending more and more time doing it. And apparently TIMES NEWS readers do also.

The following list arrived this week from a reader, and I want to share it with those readers who remember. If you're under 40, it probably won't stir up any memories, but if you're a pre-baby boomer, this should light up your brain cells.

See what you can remember.

Do you remember when -

All the girls had ugly gym uniforms? And wore tennis shoes not $200 Nike's!

When a can of beer couldn't be opened with a zip top. You needed a church key to dispense the brew.

It took three minutes for the TV to warm up?

Nobody owned a purebred dog?

When a quarter was a decent allowance?

You'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny?

Your Mom wore nylons that came in two pieces?

You got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, all for free, every time? And you didn't pay for air? And, you got trading stamps to boot?

Laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box?

It was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents?

They threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed... and they did it!

When a 57 Chevy was everyone's dream cruise, peel out, lay rubber or watch submarine races, and people went steady?

No one ever asked where the car keys were because they were always in the car, in the ignition, and the doors were never locked?

Lying on your back in the grass with your friends... and saying things like, 'That cloud looks like a... '?

Playing baseball with no adults to help kids with the rules of the game?

Stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals because no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger...

And with all our progress, don't you just wish, just once, you could slip back in time and savor the slower pace, and share it with the children of today?

When being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited the student at home?

Basically we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn't because of drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat! But we survived because their love was greater than the threat.

And our summers were filled with bike rides, Hula Hoops, and visits to the pool, and eating Kool-Aid powder with sugar.

Also, do you remember?

Candy cigarettes...

Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water inside...

Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles...

Coffee shops with Table Side Jukeboxes...

Blackjack, Clove and Teaberry chewing gum...

Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers...

Newsreels before the movie...

Telephone numbers with a word prefix... Party lines...


Hi-Fi's & 45 RPM records...

78 RPM records...

Green Stamps...

Mimeograph paper...

The Fort Apache Play Set...

Do You Remember a Time When Decisions were made by going...'eeny-meeny-miney-moe'?

Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, 'Do Over!'?

'Race issue' meant arguing about who ran the fastest?

Catching the fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening?

It wasn't odd to have two or three 'Best Friends'...

Having a Weapon in School meant being caught with a Slingshot?

Saturday morning cartoons weren't 30-minute commercials for action figures?

'Oly-oly-oxen-free' made perfect sense?

Spinning around, getting dizzy, and falling down was cause for giggles?

The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team?

War was a card game?

Baseball cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle?

Taking drugs meant orange flavored chewable aspirin?

Water balloons were the ultimate weapon?

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